In this epistolary sequel to the young adult novel Grape!, we learn about the best and worst days in the busy life of a troubled seventh grader nicknamed Grape. His summer starts off well: he learns that he won’t be sent to a special junior high school for difficult students, because he has instead been accepted into an advanced English class. But things go downhill when he discovers that his best friend, Lou, is moving from New York City to the Catskills to live with his dad. The story unfolds in letters from Grape to Lou as he tries to keep his friend apprised of his life.
Some highlights include Grape’s bar mitzvah lessons, his new school, his crush Clair, and his mom’s pregnancy. Woven into the episodes of Grape’s life are his struggles with his mental health, which he describes as “spiders in his brain” and which often put him in difficult situations.
Readers will appreciate Arquilevich’s engaging writing, Grape’s eccentric personality, and the relatable pains of middle school life.